Hyères 2012: Finnish Fashion Spotlight

Hyères 2012: Finnish Fashion Spotlight

Once per year the population in the city Hyères, situated at the Côte d’Azur on the French Riviera, becomes more creative, fashionable and artistic than ever. During four days, in an ambience very different from the normal cliché of glamorous fashion gatherings, the city’s regular number of circa 55 000 habitants adds up with industry people; renowned designers, artists, photographers, gallery owners, buyers, agents and to not forget, the leading lights of the Festival International de Mode et de Photographie; the yet undiscovered designers competing to receive the prestigious Hyères Award.

2012’s festival, which finished a couple of days ago, was the 27th edition and like every year a diverse mix of ten designer profiles with as diverse nationalities were presented to the audience at Villa Noaille. Creative cuts, colours, mindfulness and craftsmanship to be judged by a jury this time headed by no one less than Yohji Yamamoto. As true privies of fashion you most likely got that this is a rare opportunity for the lucky few chosen talents to get exposed to and meet industry people who all have a finger in the game of their future (industry darlings like Viktor & Rolf, Gaspard Yurkievich, Matthew Cunnington, Yiqin Yin and Alexandra Verschueren all started off at Hyères), and if you followed the fashion media over the last few days, were one of the lucky to spend a few days in Hyères or if you were part of the audience at Palais de Tokyo in Paris, you also know who the fortunate awardees are.

Having mentioned Scandinavian fashion and several of its promising talents over the past months, it was with excitement but with no choc the Blogazine received the news that the Finnish menswear trio Siiri Raasakka, Tiia Siren and Elina Laitinen were the winners of Hyères 2012 “Grand Prix du Jury L’Oréal Professionnel”. The collection presented by these three young designers, who yet haven’t even graduated from their BA’s at Aalto University in Helsinki, was out of the ordinary and described by the words “urban nomads living in a utopian future society”. With incredible craftsmanship in the work of the fabrics and psychedelic prints, neon colours, fringes, glow sticks and the key accessory; Swarovski crystals, the collection takes an unsullied angle to the often rather gloomy, strict and minimalistic Scandinavian menswear scene. Truth told, even though Scandinavian fashion received an increasing amount of attention, Finland as a fashion country never really been in the loop of that attention. On the artistic side the talk would always go towards architecture and design, as Helsinki for example were named World Design Capital 2012, and the country just never fully accomplished to please the selective industry crowd. With a Hyères Award in the backpack and a prominent design trio with the opportunity to showcase their collection during SS13 Paris Fashion Week, we await to see if Finland can widen the fashion landscape and become a solid addition to the Scandinavian fashion family.

Besides the Finnish trio, Belgium women’s wear designer Lucas Sponchiado won the prize voted by the audience of the two venues Palais de Tokyo and Villa Noailles while Ragne Kikas, Estonian knit wear designer, grabbed the official Prix du Public de la Ville D’Hyères (Fashion Public Award of the City of Hyères) as well as the Première Vision Award. Hyères 2012 also presented a new award, Prix Chloé, granted by the fashion house and was received by Central Saint Martin graduate Steven Taï.

Lisa Olsson Hjerpe – Images from www.filepmotwary.com